Surprising ways Plants can make you happier, healthier and smarter.
As spring gives way to summer, if you are like me, you look outside and are encouraged by the beauty of our surroundings and inspired by the lush colors of nature. The greens of the foliage, the bright hues of the flowers that have popped their heads in search of the warmth of the sun and the ever comforting calm of the blues of the sky as each day progresses. These are the times that make us feel the happiest. We jump into our outside mode and join in. We plant annuals and gardens of vegetables and herbs. We freshening up our yards for gathering places to absorb more of those things that draw us closer to the comforts we find that we know bring us relaxation and serenity.
So, what do we attribute these changes in our mind set to? The soothing effects of natural aesthetic beauty help to minimize the distractions that otherwise occupy our minds. Experts in the health field are beginning to recognize that a great deal of our mental and physical health is determined by our environment. So then, how could planting, watering, talking to your plants improve you energy level? How can even just being around plants and living foliage help combat symptoms of conditions such as depression? What about improving our air quality, or even affecting our relationships?
1. Plants Accelerate the Healing Process.
It has been shown that the presence of plants in hospital rooms or views of beautiful gardens help patients to heal faster, due to the soothing affects of nature. Studies show that plants are effective in helping recover from illnesses and actually can speed recovery time. Plants contribute to a feeling of well-being and comfort that benefit everyone’s daily life.
2. Headaches and high blood pressure?
Not any more! Plants can also help reduce headaches because they help eliminate stuffy, polluted air. Homes with many indoor plants can even help reduce high blood pressure. Through the nature of plants, they clean the air of toxins that have our physical systems on high alert.
3. Increased purpose and motivation.
Everyday life and routines can become a bit boring. Many of us go through periods where we may openly admit we’re “stuck in a rut”. Experts claim that gardening provides a sense of achievement, satisfaction and pleasure. For this reason, even growing simple plants would allow you to tap into a powerful natural rhythm, pulling you out of that “rut”.
4. Increased energy and performance.
Researchers agree that there are significant increases in certain hormone levels following a simple task of pruning. Levels of cortisol are typically higher after gardening. This gives a burst of energy. Gardening is also thought to stimulate cells which release adrenaline. This can make you feel energetic, alive, happy, and like you could actually tackle anything! If you aren’t into actual gardening, just being around plants can help you be more energetic and productive. Their very nature provides an increased feeling of vitality and energy levels, making us feel more animated. Our performance levels are increased by this improved state of mind.
5. Improves relationships and increases compassion.
Research shows that people who spend extended periods of time around plants tend to have better relationships with others. This may be due to measurable increases in feelings of compassion. Studies show that people who spend time around plants are much more likely to try to be helpful to others. They often have more advanced social skills. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others. They reach out to their peers and form shared bonds resulting from common interests.
6. Improve your learning abilities.
Research also shows that children who spend time around plants learn better. Being around natural environments improves the ability of children with Attention Deficit Disorder to focus, concentrate and engage more with their surroundings. Keeping plants in a child’s learning environment enhances learning capabilities by helping them focus and concentrate. This improves their ability to learn new things. It makes it easier for them to absorb and retain information.
If “the secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does”, then our liking of being out among nature and plant life, is part of the secret to our happiness!
Experience Live Plants and find your happy, healthy and smarter lifestyle.
Cindy Doorn-Nylen is the President and Owner of Docter's Interior Plantscaping, Inc. She has been working in the interior plantscaping industry since 1981. She is dedicated to an integrity of providing clients with services that she would expect for herself.